Rutger Hauer, 'Blade Runner' Star, Dead at 75

Rutger Hauer, best known for his starring role as Roy Batty in 1982's Blade Runner, died last Friday, July 19 at his home in the Netherlands after a short illness, his agent said. He was 75. Hauer's agent, Steve Kenis, confirmed the news and said that Hauer's funeral was held on Wednesday, Variety reports.

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(Photo: Warner Bros.)

Tall, blond-haired and blue-eyed, Hauer was known for his handsome looks that lent themselves perfectly to his reputation for playing anything from a romantic lead to a sinister villain.

As Roy Batty, Hauer portrayed the murderous yet soulful leader of a gang of outlaw replicants opposite Harrison Ford in Ridley Scott's sci-fi noir opus Blade Runner, which quickly became a cult favorite.

More recently, Hauer notably appeared in a pair of 2005 films: Sin City, in which he played Cardinal Roark, and Batman Begins, in which he played the corporate villain who Bruce Wayne discovers is running the Wayne Corp.

Hauer also had several recent TV appearances: In True Blood, he played Niall Brigant, the king of the Steakhouse family tribe and the faerie grandfather to Sookie, Jason Steakhouse and Hunter Savoy. He also recurred on ABC's medieval musical comedy Galavant as Kingsley in 2015.

Upon hearing the news of Hauer's death, fans flooded social media with reactions.

Born Jan. 23, 1944, in Breukelen, the Netherlands, both of Hauer's parents were acting teachers — although he wasn't always passionate about the craft. At age 15, he ran away from home to join the Dutch merchant navy; after returning to Amsterdam in 1962, he briefly studied acting, but exited school again for a stint in the army.

He finally became a member of the touring experimental troupe Noorder Compagnie, in which he acted, directed and served as a costume designer and translator for several years. His major break came in 1969 when he was cast in the title role of Floris, a knight who becomes embroiled in court intrigue upon his return from the Crusades. The show grew to be wildly popular, and he even reprised the role in a 1975 revival of the series.

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Hauer was active in social causes as an outspoken sponsor of environmental organization Greenpeace and the founder of the Starfish Association, a non-profit devoted to AIDS awareness.

He is survived by his second wife of 50 years, Ineke ten Cate, and a daughter, actress Aysha Hauer, from his marriage to Heidi Merz.